Söderström’s HV71 squad was the first team to qualify for the SHL semifinals, posting wins of 3-1, 3-1, 4-3 in OT and 3-2. Söderström was in net for all four games, his first pro playoff action, and his playoff stats - .933 save percentage, 1.74 goals against average - are very much like his regular season totals.
In 22 SHL games this season, Söderström went 15-4-3 and a .943 save percentage. His six shutouts matched one league record and his 1.34 goals against average broke another, both set by an obscure goalie who never really gained any fame outside of Sweden named Henrik Lundqvist.
All joking aside, Söderström knows what you’re thinking and in an interview with Hockeybladet.nu says to cool it with the comparisons to The King. Thanks as always to Zeb from Eyes on the Prize for always keeping Islanders Euro prospects in his sights and for interpreting Google Translate into actual human language for us:
There is another goalie playing in another hockey organization within the same city, its difficult to not draw parallels between the two goal keepers. For Söderström the dream is still NHL even if it for the moment is a distant dream.
"Its not something I really think about. I beat Hank’s record but it is ridiculous to compare me to Lundqvist whom is one of the best goalkeepers in NHL, it's a long way to get there and not something I think about at the moment."
The interview also includes Söderström talking about HV71’s defense and how he gets over a bad early goal.
In another short story in Hockeybladet from last week, the goalie says that although he has signed a one-year extension with HV71, he’s looking forward to attending Islanders prospect camp on Long Island this summer. It would be his second year at the camp.
But before that there are more pressing matters - specifically HV71’s first second round series in six years and, possibly the IIHF World Championships in Cologne, Germany starting in early May.
If the 20-year-old 2014 fourth round pick continues to be this steady, he could be carrying Team Sweden in that tournament just like... um, that other guy that we shouldn’t be comparing him to.